Backpack Pantry Program Press Release

Soup Kitchen Launches Weekend Backpack Program for Families in Need

Cara Taback
Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
(212) 998 – 6104

New York, New York, January 30 –  Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen has launched a Backpack Pantry Program to provide weekend meals for children whose families are struggling to make ends meet.  Nearly 1.1 million New York City residents are food insecure, and this program will supplement the 1,000 hot meals served each weekday in the landmark sanctuary of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Through the new program, the soup kitchen is filling 100 backpacks with a nutritious assortment of breakfast, lunch and dinner foods every Friday so that homeless families of children attending P.S. 33, living in the Chelsea-Elliot Houses and the Fulton Houses,  and other residents in need nearby can be assured of food when schools and many emergency food programs are closed.  The backpacks are filled with non-perishable foods, such as tuna fish, soup, fruit cups, cereal, and shelf-stable milk.  Participating students and their families return the following Friday and exchange their empty backpacks for ones filled with food.

One of every ten New York City students enrolled in public schools lived in a homeless shelter during the last school year, according to a recent report by Advocates for Children of New York.  The number of homeless students is higher than at any other time since the records have been compiled.

The Backpack Pantry Program grew out of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen’s brown bag lunch distributions, which began in 2017, for homeless P.S. 33 students in after-school programs, as well as low-income seniors and homeless individuals in the neighborhood.

“Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is committed to finding new ways to feed as many hungry New Yorkers as possible,” said The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Executive Director of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.  “Many city families are facing significant economic challenges, and through the Backpack Pantry Program we can help ensure that the youngest members of our community have access to the nutrients that will aid in their healthy growth and development.”

“The P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep community is so grateful for the strong partnership we have with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.  They have provided resources to our families in ways that we cannot,” said Cindy Wang, Principal of P.S. 33.  “Thank you to the generous donors and volunteers ‎who make the brown bag lunches and Backpack Pantry Program possible for our students and families in need.  They are truly making a difference in their lives.”

The Backpack Pantry Program is funded with generous support from companies participating in Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen’s Good Corporate Citizen program.  Wells Fargo Asset Backed Finance donated the backpacks, and Biosector 2, a Syneos HealthTM company, has donated food.

About Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is the largest emergency feeding program in New York City, providing over 1,000 meals each weekday to residents in need.  Founded in 1982, the soup kitchen operates in the landmark sanctuary of the Church of the Holy Apostles and offers programs that nourish the body as well as the soul.  In addition to meals, guests have access to social services support and workshops that help them navigate toward improved health, housing and jobs.